Texas 6, Minnesota 5
When: 8:05 PM ET, Friday, July 8, 2016
Where: Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
Adam Hamari, 1B -
Bill Miller, 2B -
Brian Knight, 3B -
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Cole Hamels struggled for the second straight start but some big sixth inning hits helped the Texas Rangers overcome a shaky performance by their ace.
Elvis Andrus had the game-tying triple and Bobby Wilson lifted the tiebreaking sacrifice fly as the Rangers rallied for a 6-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Friday.
Miguel Sano's three-run home run just inside the left field foul pole in the fifth gave Minnesota a 5-4 lead but the Twins first lead did not last long.
The home run wasn't enough to chase Hamels, but three batters later he issued his third walk of the inning and was pulled.
Hamels matched his career high with six walks in the game and again did not look sharp in his second start within a week against the Twins. Hamels, who entered with a 9-2 record, threw 33 pitches in the first inning and 56 in the first two.
"I think the first inning is probably what shortened Cole's night," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "You look at the pitch count, he got two outs and struggled to get that third out.
Hamels exited after throwing 109 pitches (61 strikes) in just 4 1/3 innings and has pitched 8 1/3 innings in his last two starts.
"Cole's a great pitcher," Banister said. "There are stretches in any one season that for any starter, they go through things like this. Cole's going to be able to work through it. He'll find the rhythm, find the release point, and he'll be back to the Cole Hamels that we know that he is."
The Rangers prevented Hamels from getting his third loss in the sixth.
Nomar Mazara opened the inning with a double down the left-field line of Ryan Pressly (2-5). Andrus tripled to right field and on the next pitch, Wilson lifted a sacrifice fly to right field.
The rally in the sixth occurred after Hamels allowed five runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings.
"We battled," Andrus said. "Their starter (Kyle Gibson, he was effective, always throws the ball good against us. He was throwing the changeup pretty good today. We battled, and I think that's one of the keys for all of this year."
Tony Barnette (6-3) allowed one hit in 2 2/3 innings for the win. Matt Bush ended the eighth by getting Kurt Suzuki on a double play and Sam Dyson recorded his 18th save.
The Twins lost promising center fielder Byron Buxton to a knee injury in the first inning. The injury came on a triple by the Rangers' Rougned Odor, who finished a home run shy of the cycle.
Despite Hamels' struggles, the Rangers led 4-2 after four innings thanks to a pair of two-run rallies.
Odor had an RBI triple and scored on a single by Prince Fielder.
Buxton was injured trying to catch Odor's drive, crashing into the wall and leaving the game on a cart. The Twins later announced Buxton had suffered a right knee contusion and was deemed day to day.
"When my knee gave out on me, I never experienced something like that, so it just kind of made me panic a little bit more," Buxton said.
"It feels all right. Got a compression sleeve on it. Keep doctoring on it overnight, and hope to come back better (Saturday)."
The Twins answered with two runs in the top of the second Suzuki's double. Suzuki scored on a high bouncer back to Hamels by Eduardo Nunez, who was safe when Rangers first baseman Jurickson Profar charged the ball and failed to cover the bag.
The Rangers reclaimed the lead two innings later on singles by Shin-Soo Choo and Ian Desmond.
Kyle Gibson was in line to win his third game in as many starts when he exited after five innings. He recorded six strikeouts, including getting Profar to whiff with the bases loaded in the third inning.
"Winnable game," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. We kind of beat ourselves the second half of the game.
NOTES: A moment of silence was held before the game to honor the five Dallas police officers who were killed in Thursday night's downtown ambush... Rangers prospect Joey Gallo posted an Instagram picture of himself and OF Nomar Mazara with Patrick Zamarippa, one of the officers killed. The players met the officer, a devoted Rangers fan, a couple of months ago in downtown Dallas.... The Rangers' Double-A affiliate in nearby Frisco, Texas, planned to wear Dallas Police Department caps Friday and Saturday and auction them for charity... Twins 1B Joe Mauer was not in Friday'slineup despite appearing in 81 of 85 previous games. Mauer is 0-for-12 in his career against Rangers starter Cole Hamels... Twins 1B-DH Byung Ho Park, recently demoted to Triple-A, has sat for the last two games with a sore wrist... The Rangers recalled LHP Alex Claudio from Triple-A Round Rock and optioned RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez back to Round Rock. Gonzalez threw 124 pitches in Thursday'sstart... The Rangers made a minor league trade with Miami, acquiring LHP Eric Jokisch in exchange for INF Pedro Ciriaco.
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